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The Degradation of Women in the Works of Ayn Rand

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  1. Beauty
    1. Her characters
    2. Herself
  2. Intelligence
    1. Her characters
    2. Herself
  3. Independence
  4. Atheism
  5. Submission
    1. Sexual Dominance
    2. Mental Dominance
  6. Marriage
  7. Cruelty
  8. Conclusion
  9. Bibliography

A common trend in American writing is to highlight gender differences. Authors appear compelled to hammer home the concept of women's suffrage, representing women as nothing but the weaker, fairer sex. In a way, it's almost a case of reverse sexism, proving the other side right by inversely separating the group in question from the rest. Ayn Rand focused also on the sexes. Instead of pitying her female characters, she raises them to extraordinary heights before reducing them to a level of trained obedience. In her opinion, a life full of servitude and compliance is a woman's place in society. It is also the only happiness she should be allowed to experience in her life, as it was the only happiness she experiences in her own. Ayn Rand's portrayal of women in her fictional works is a reflection of her own personal beliefs on gender roles.

[...] Although the personal aspects of Rand's life were kept rather private, one can only conclude that she too had similar encounters with men, and that she too enjoyed them as much as these fictional females. Perhaps even more devastating than the sexual dominance of Rand and her females is the ease in which they give up even their psychological strength to men. They not only lie still and helpless in bed, but also become drone- like zombies who know only words of conformity. Dominique illustrates this point perfectly when it comes to her first husband: ?'I want very much to do anything you want, Peter. To follow any idea you get (Rand, Fountainhead 424). [...]

[...] Ayn Rand's portrayal of women in her fictional works is a reflection of her own personal beliefs on gender roles. The shallowest yet least harmful of Rand's principles is that women, to be true to their femininity, must be beautiful. Much like her animal counterpart, a female's foremost goal was to attract the attention of the opposite sex. The author herself was not of the most desirable type, but she makes certain that her characters were, fashioning ?women of enormous beauty, feminine in appearance (Baker 117). [...]

[...] Rand admitted that many of the men in her novels are modeled after her husband and her close advisors, which concludes that the males in her life much like those in her fictional works expected obedience. Gaea, who spends most of her life living a planned existence, in her first moments of freedom tells Prometheus, ?'Do as you please with us (Rand, Anthem 83). It is practical habit; these women do not even think before bowing down to men; men who are really beneath them, not above them like they think. [...]

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